Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Monday, February 26, 2007

Corrections-- Apple Inc. and Gainsbarre Badass

There are two corrections to make:
One: if, in the past two months, I left the impression that I am promoting Apple Inc. products, I have to correct myself: As well-devised their gadgets may be, I have been told that the Apple customer service sucks, as they put much more energy and money in recruiting new customers.
Two, Serge Gainsbourg was not only the French chansonnier with the golden voice but--mainly in his later years--he was also a real badass.
One of the most famous moments in French TV is Serge Gainsbourg intimidating Whitney Houston in a 1986 live show (see below) as well as insulting Catherine Ringer, the singer from the French band Les Ritas Mitsuoku.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Neuroscience -- Mouse Party & ScienceBlogs

As I got several feedback comments from people showing interest in neuroscientific topics:
There is this funny but educational flash animation which explains the neuropharmacological effects of drugs.
And then there is a huuge network of blogs on neuroscientific matters on all levels (molecular vie cognitive up to social): The ScienceBlogs Brain & Behavior channel with several new posts a day. The quality of the blogs is usually very high, some treating their topics in a rather popular, some in a more scientifically dry way.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Part 2: Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools and the Wholearth Catalog in Das Netz (see below) there is a part on Stewart Brand, his Wholeearth Catalog, and his grasp on the determination of technological development.
Steven sent me this more recent video URL which includes Stewart Brand and a presentation of how the Wholeearth Catalog is a forefather of Wired magazine, one of the print media heavily related to the rise of the internet.
Involved in both magazines was a guy named Kevin Kelly who also appears in the video.
So one of the purposes of the Wholeearth Catalog was to facilitate "access to tools" in order to allow the individuum to easily express itself. The exact meaning of this principle might have changed over time but it aimed at individual freedom which is closely related to individual responsibility-- and that's where this post approaches last week's religion post and the current debate on man's negative impact on planet earth.

The website I originally wanted to present is Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools section, supposedly a modern, internet-compatible version of the Wholeearth Catalog. It reminds me a little bit of manufactum minus most of the nostalgic component.

There's lots of useful tools to discover--
So stay, be or get responsible!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Religion Debate and the Camping Trinity

The discussion on the alleged clash of civilizations after 9/11 triggered the inter-denominational part of the debate, while maybe the German origin of the current pope added the intra-denominational dimension. In any case, at least in the German media a big debate on religion has been going on for a while, which for example treats the role of religion nowadays, the outfit of modern christianity, the relation of religion and science etc.
See for example
However, my favorite contribution to the debate comes from a website I recently discovered through the blog: The indexed blog, a wonderfully creative capture of life, ingeniously depicts the problem of the holy trinity.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Part 1: Watch Das Netz (2004) Online

The string of events that led me to a website I wanna present was the following:

Back during my undergraduate studies there was a media art festival in town, so we went to see a documentary movie that - by the way - won the first prize without even being a runner up.
This movie was called Das Netz (directed by Lutz Dammbeck) and gave me/us a whole lotta food for thought.
In case you can spare 2 hours, watch it online (with English subtitles). It identifies links between a lot of things (the UNA bomber, the internet, the macy conferences, cybernetics etc.), it features ideological commentaries on the freedom of information and on life in a non-technological world, and it includes interviews with some great people, for example Heinz von Foerster. Leaving aside the fact that it's sometimes a little bit too close to conspiracy theories and its being too deep and too shallow at the same time, it's an interesting documentary. be continued

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Serge Gainsbourg Himself

Salut tout le monde,
Just a quick post about a French idol:
Great guy, Serge Gainsbourg, gorgeous song, poinçonneur des lilas (see below), even more relaxed interview on Quebecian television (part 1 and part 2).

Monday, February 05, 2007

We are the Web 2.0 -- The Machine is Us

Most of you already know that Time Magazine chose You as the person of the year. As might have become apparent in previous posts, I am amateurishly interested in questions like:
Where is the internet going? How will computing be integrated into daily life? How does machinization change our way of thinking?
"Keine Zukunft ohne Herkunft" (lit. "no future without provenance")--
On the very technophile zedomax blog I discovered this well-produced video on the development of the web by Michael Wesch, an assistant professor in Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State. Enjoy (even though the music sucks)!

Addendum: I have to add the comment that was just posted on youtube by a user named theeastvillage: "...Although there is no doubt that sharing information changes attitudes, you must remember that Web 2.0 is not run by you or for you.
Web 2.0 is system of people who have tuned their money making minds to the needs of the masses...."

Friday, February 02, 2007

Gilles Peterson and Ben Westbeech in Paris, Homecookin' & DeepSoul3

Ben Westbeech, his band, and of course Gilles were incredibly good. I had an extraordinary evening. Ben seems to be a really nice guy (watch out for his LP dropping next month), the club had a decent sound, and the crowd was in a good mood.
Nevertheless, I would have wished for a little less hard-to-dance-to Brazilian music, Gilles. Apart from that, the transition from Alice Coltrane via some HipHop classics, Funk and Samba over Soil and Pimp to close with Minimal and House-- what can I say?!

Plus, Ichi.One's latest Homecookin' guestmix for DeepSoul3 is perfect, and the 4hero LP is out and superbe... Musically, 2007 starts off as a good year.